The Editorial Apartment


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Hire me to check the details

Copyediting is about paying attention to a lot of detail—and most people have no patience for that.

So if you have a piece of writing and want someone to look at all the details that you know you might have skipped and need double-checking, you need someone like me.

Projects like these have a lot of details to keep track of:

  • A recipe or a whole cookbook, where there are lots of measurements and ordered steps
  • A how-to article on any topic in general
  • Infographics and maps, where tiny amounts of text are placed in strategic places and are that much more important

Of course, if your “detail” concern is consistency, then you need a copy editor for any type of writing. Contact me here or through LinkedIn.

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Reviewing recipes

Cookbooks can be fun to review (plus I like learning how to make new dishes). Last month, I proofread a collection of recipes for a client. This required a lot of attention to measurements and to the flow, structure, and format of the steps; ensuring the steps coordinated with the illustrations or photos; ordering the list of ingredients; and many, many other things.

Following a recipe
Recently, I made applesauce using this recipe I found online, halving all the measurements because I only had three apples:

Applesauce recipe

Source: Food Network

After the cooking was complete, my apples were soft but still had their cut shapes. “They forgot to say something about mashing the apples. This recipe wasn’t edited!” I complained. Even though it was obvious you might have to mash the apples, the step should still be included.

The revised recipe
Weeks later, when I did have six apples, I made another batch of applesauce, and it was clear. The apples mostly dissolved into mush themselves. Hence, there was no need to mention mashing them—except I still would add that step, as I don’t know whether what happened to my apples was because of the number of apples I used or the variety.

The same recipe instructions, cleaned up, might look like this:
Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters. Place them in an enamel saucepan with the water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down slightly and simmer 30 minutes to break them down and get them to thicken. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon, if using. Mash any large chunks of apple that remain.


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Universal things: Language and communication

The Daily Prompt from The Daily Post, titled Money for Nothing, asks readers to describe their ultimate job: “What is it that you love? What fulfills you?”

I don’t know what my dream job is. I’m still looking for it. I may not really have one. My diverse interests have a common thread of globality, something of importance to everyone across cultures. I’m interested in health and nutrition, in international relations, in languages, in traveling. I like animals and plants; I like the sun and its warmth on my back. I like bringing people together, despite my occasional grumpiness and non–people person behaviors. I like seeing and experiencing new things. I like cooking and making things with my hands. I like foods from other cultures. I love airports. And when at work, I like to keep busy.

My dream job at the moment might involve food and learning how to bake professionally. It might involve learning more in depth about nutrition. In the past, I’ve thought about nursing and wanted to know how to draw blood. I’ve also wanted to take serious sewing classes, so I could understand how my clothes were made.

Right now though, I’m a copy editor of marketing communications. That means I work on all sorts of advertising, including all things digital and all things printed. I am part of a team of creative people who produce those brochures you get at your doctor’s office, or all that information you read on the websites of the companies whose products you buy, or the posts on their blogs.

I edited that billboard you just drove by. I reviewed that newsletter sent by your local hospital, and I copyedited those e-newsletters from businesses whose mailing lists you’ve joined. I was responsible for making sure the posters and banners at that convention center event you went to had a clear message and that the survey you took to win a prize contained questions that made sense. As a copy editor, I am responsible, along with a team of writers, designers, proofreaders, and translators, for helping to ensure messages are clearly communicated.

What is my dream job? Well, one where I’m helping the many and involved in something universal. Thus far, as a freelance copy editor, it’s been about language and communication.